A concert (August 14, 2021; Grosses Festspielhaus) of two halves. The first includes rather stiff accounts of Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata (short on Impressionism) and George Gershwin’s Preludes (short on swing and extemporisation), and while Evgeny Kissin is more identified with miniatures by Tikhon Khrennikov (1913-2007) these are rather anonymous save for those that could be by Prokofiev.

What a difference post-interval, and Chopin. Whether a Nocturne (Opus 62/1), the three Impromptus, the First Scherzo or the Opus 53 ‘Heroic’ Polonaise, Kissin really opens up to reveal the music’s quotient for imagery, expressive intricacy, songfulness and majesty, given with deep consideration, a wide range of touch and dynamic, and also a welcome degree of spontaneity.

Four encores are offered: some Mendelssohn (heart-touching/rapturous), Kissin’s own Dodecaphonic Tango (Shostakovich in Argentina), Chopin’s Second Scherzo (no less) and, finally, ‘Clair de lune’ from Debussy’s Suite bergamasque (magical).

The recorded sound captures the occasion impressively on DG 486 2990 (2 CDs).